Russia has blocked Google News, accusing it of promoting “inauthentic information” about the invasion of Ukraine. The ban came just hours after Google announced it would not allow users worldwide to monetise content that “exploits, dismisses, or condones” the war.
Google’s new policy affects any website, app or YouTube channel that earns revenue from advertising managed by the search engine. It has long had a policy that bars adverts from appearing next to any content that “incites violence” and says the new policy clarifies and expands those rules.
“We can confirm that we’re taking additional steps to clarify, and in some instances expand, our monetisation guidelines as they relate to the war in Ukraine,” a Google spokesperson said.
The company had already taken action against Russian state-funded media in late February, and paused all adverts for Russian users earlier this month. The latest ban could cut off funding to western media outlets supportive of Russia, even if ithey have no clear financial tie to the state itself.
Within hours of Google’s new policy, the Russian internet regulator, Roskomnadzor, announced its own ban, blocking Google News in its entirety from internet users. “Based on a request from the Russian prosecutor general’s office, Roskomnadzor has restricted access to the internet service news.google in the country,” the body said in a statement